Stop The Steal Organizer Wanted Trump Foes Executed, Then Stormed Capitol
The domestic terrorists who were whipped up by the violent rhetoric Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6 came from all over the country, with vastly different personal stories, united by the common cause of keeping Joe Biden from becoming president.
Now, two-plus weeks after the Trump riot, it’s become apparent they all have something else very much in common: trying to scrub clean their social media accounts in the hopes that they don’t help law enforcement track them down. One such Trump supporter is a guy named Alan Hostetter, head of the southern California group American Phoenix Project. As reported by Mother Jones’ David Corn, Hostetter is a former infantryman, sheriff’s deputy, SWAT officer and police chief. Currently he’s a yoga instructor in Orange County, Calif., and has made a name for himself organizing and encouraging residents there to violate coronavirus public health measures and eschew wearing face masks in public.
On Dec. 12 he led a pro-Trump rally on the pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., at which he told the crowd of about 100 that “the enemies and traitors of America, both foreign and domestic, must be held accountable. And they will. There must be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup” to deny Trump as second term as president. Next to Hostetter thoughout his violent rant was former GOP congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who had represented the area in Congress until losing his reelection bid in 2018. Rohrabacher told the crowd to fight to keep communists from taking control of the government. Hostetter later posted a video from the event on YouTube.
Fast forward to Jan. 5 and you’ll find the military and law enforcement veteran speaking at a rally behind the Supreme Court sharing the stage with Ali Alexander, who told the assembled crowd, “This is our country, one way or another.” Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had a few things to say before Hostetter declared, “They’re going to hear our voice tomorrow … We are at war in this country. We are at war tomorrow. I will see you all tomorrow at the front lines.”
The next day, as the Washington Post reported, Hostetter was part of the mob that attacked the Capitol. His Instagram included a photo of him on top of the Capitol with the caption: “This was the ‘shot heard ’round the world’…The 2021 version of 1776. That war lasted eight years. We are just getting warmed up.” Predictably that photo and caption no longer appear in Hostetter’s Instagram feed. A number of similarly themed posts also have disappeared from his Facebook page, although presumably they’re in the hands of law enforcement. The hunt goes on for the Capitol marauders who fancied themselves brave “patriots” Jan. 6, but now find themselves potentially facing federal charges and long jail sentences for taking part in a riot in which a police officer was killed and several other people died.